UK economy strongest in Europe by 2030

The UK will overtake Germany and France to be Europe's strongest economy by 2030, according to predictions from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

In its annual report The World Economic League Table, the CEBR forecasts that the UK's gross domestic product will leapfrog France by 2018 before overtaking Germany 'around 2030'.

The report said: "Germany is forecast to lose its position as the largest Western European economy to the UK around 2030 because of the UK's faster population growth and lesser dependence on other European economies."

The CEBR warned that Germany would not be overtaken if it left the euro and went back to the Deutsche Mark.

The report reads: "If the euro were to break up, Germany's outlook would be much better. A Deutsche Mark-based Germany certainly would not be overtaken by the UK for many years, if ever."

The think tank's chief executive Douglas McWilliams also claimed a British exit from the European Union (EU) would not affect Britain's long-term economic growth:

"My instinct is that in the short term, the impact of leaving the EU would undoubtedly be negative. My suspicion is that over a 15-year period, it would probably be positive."